E-commerce platform Chengxin youxuan, a subsidiary of the Didi Group, worked together with the Thai government to organize the first local 'Durian festival' on the 19th of April, 2021. Chengxin youxuan has already pre-ordered several ten thousand tons of Mon Thong [Golden Pillow] durian from production areas in Thailand and plans to delight Chinese consumers with reasonably-priced, fresh durian during a 'tasting season'.
According to Ms. Chiyawan Chongvatana, commercial attaché to the Thai embassy in China, this is the 46th year of diplomatic relations between China and Thailand. China has been the largest trading partner for Thailand for 8 years in a row. In 2020, durian was the number one export fruit in trade between Thailand and China.
Chengxin youxuan's 'Durian festival' will offer Chinese consumers the opportunity to taste a variety of top-quality durian products from Thailand. This will raise the level of familiarity with Thai durian products among Chinese consumers.
From left to right: Chen Nan, vice-president of Didi Group, Chiyawan Chongvatana, commercial attaché to the Thai embassy in China, Zhang Keshuai, CEO of Chengxin youxuan Fruit and Vegetable Department, and Yang Junwen, vice-president of Hong Jiu Fruit
Official opening of domestic 'localized' "Durian festival"
The Mon Thong durian that Chengxin youxuan purchased for this "Durian festival" came from the most suitable production areas in east Thailand. Zhang Keshuai, the vice-president of Chengxin youxuan's fruit and vegetable department, explained that their e-commerce platform will offer durian in the most suitable season between April and June, and to guarantee Chinese consumers will have the most ideal customer experience, the durian will arrive in China by land or sea transport in as little as 7 days from the moment they are harvested.
Durian slices at the Chengxin youxuan "Durian festival"
Imported durian will penetrate deep into Chinese secondary markets
Data from the Thai Ministry of Agriculture shows that China is the largest market for Thai durian. In 2020, China was number one both in terms of import volume and import value. Nearly 90% of Thai durian export is destined for the Chinese market. Although the Chinese import of durian continues to grow rapidly every year, the price of import durian remains high, which means that the customer audience is primarily located in larger cities. Chinese consumers in rural markets are less familiar with durian.
Durian plantation in Thailand
Traditional retail channels consist of several stages, from Thai exporters through Chinese importers to wholesale markets in first-tier cities, then on to wholesale markets in second-tier cities, before the durian finally arrive in rural markets. Chengxin youxuan works closely together with the largest durian supplier in China, Hong Jiu Fruit, to set up 'direct purchase' from durian plantations in Thailand. This will reduce the number of intermediaries and effectively reduce the cost price of import durian in the Chinese market. In addition, community e-traders can apply the method of "share storage space + pick up" to further reduce the cost of storage and transport.
Will Chengxin youxuan become the largest durian retailer in China?
Chengxin youxuan already pre-ordered several ten thousand tons of Mon Thong durian from Thailand. The e-commerce platform will offer fresh durian from Thailand beginning this week and continuing until September. Zhang Keshuai hopes this durian festival will push Thai durian into Chinese rural markets and turn durian into a "fruit of the people".
Chengxin youxuan already prepared retail services in various areas throughout China to make sure that Thai durian can find their way into Chinese rural markets. The first durian will be delivered to Chinese consumers during the week of the durian festival. This year Chengxin youxuan plans to become the largest durian retailer in China.